Strictly Come Dancing hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman said they were ‘devastated’ as they spoke of Nigel Harman’s shock exit from the show at the start of Saturday’s live show.
The programme’s co-hosts confirmed the former EastEnders actor, 50, had left the show after sustaining an injury.
They announced there would be no public vote or elimination this week but the judges would still give their comments and marks.
Claudia said: ‘We only have four couples. Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury and has had to withdraw from the competition.’
Tess continued: ‘We are as devastated as he is but Nigel and Katya will be chatting to us later in the show.
Strictly hosts Tess Daly (right) and Claudia Winkleman (left) said they were ‘devastated’ as they spoke of Nigel Harman’s shock exit from the show at the start of Saturday’s live show
The programme’s co-hosts confirmed the former EastEnders actor, 50, had left the show after sustaining an injury (Nigel pictured with his professional partner Katya Jones last month)
‘That means there will be no public vote tonight and no elimination but the judges will still be scoring and those scores will be carried over. You’ll be able to vote as usual next week.’
Nigel quit Strictly Come Dancing just hours before Saturday night’s live show after sustaining an injury.
The dancer, 34, and the actor, 50, were gearing up to perform a Charleston to Step in Time from Mary Poppins for the quarter finals when disaster struck.
His exit leaves just Ellie Leach, Bobby Brazier, Layton Williams and Annabel Croft still left in the contest battling it out in a bid to win the iconic glitterball trophy.
The screen star’s professional partner Katya was seen rehearsing alone ahead of Saturday’s live show, just moments before her partner Nigel Harman was forced to quit.
The BBC confirmed to MailOnline: ‘Unfortunately Nigel has sustained an injury which means he is unable to perform in tonight’s show and has had to withdraw from Strictly.’
‘We wish Nigel a speedy recovery and they both will be very much missed by our entire Strictly family,’ the official Strictly Instagram account added in a post confirming his departure.
Just one day before his exit, Nigel had discussed how gruelling the fast-paced Charleston had been on his body and admitted he was very worn out, while pictures from Friday also showed him rehearsing in the studio for the fast-paced routine.
Nigel has had to pull out of the dance contest on medical grounds after sustaining an injury, the BBC confirmed
Nigel had opened up about his love of musicals during an appearance on It Takes Two on Friday and seemed in good spirits about the extravagant routine.
He told host Fleur East: ‘I just love musicals, I love the singing and dancing and the heightened emotions of it all. We’ve got this banger this week, it’s full on showbiz.’
He added: ‘There’s leaps, there’s carries and we’re flying around and I end up needing oxygen every time I do it. It’s full on but it’s exciting.’
‘I’m not gonna lie, the Rumba just sort of mincing around wafting my hips in a general direction with some arms was lovely, maybe one bead of sweat.
‘This week, St John’s ambulance are on standby.’
Had Nigel remained with the show and gone through to the next round, he would have made it to the semi-finals and hinted he would have struggled to learn two routines in one week.
He said: ‘Two dances in a week, I hear it’s possible but I’m just going to walk blindly with it and pretend that everything is fine!’
Nigel – who is married to Lucy Liemann – reportedly missed training on Saturday morning, while Katya was seen in attendance, after working ‘really hard’ in rehearsals to try and secure a place in the final.
A source told The Sun: ‘Nigel wasn’t in training this morning, and other dancers were informed later on in the day. He and Katya were really disappointed as they were hoping to stay in the competition.
‘They hadn’t been in the bottom two so had a real chance of making it to the finals. Nigel has been training really hard and really through himself into rehearsals.’
Nigel Harman joked he had St John’s Ambulance ‘on standby’ and he would be surprised if he ‘was still standing’ less than a day before he was forced to quit Strictly Come Dancing
During an appearance on Steph’s Packed Lunch earlier this week, Nigel said he would be ‘impressed’ if he was still standing after the difficult routine.
‘Every time we finish this routine, I’m literally on an oxygen mask for about five minutes. If I’m still standing by the end of Saturday night, I’ll be impressed,’ he said.
After weeks of intense dance training, the actor previously admitted he was seeing changes in his body, and had gone from fearing aches and pains to embracing the physical challenge.
He said: ‘I am definitely noticing the difference.
‘The first 3-4 weeks were really hard… it was like being run over by a train every day and now I have gone through the niggles and the injuries, and my body seems be returning and I feel much stronger and much more durable.
‘When you first start this show whenever you get a strain, you think “oh my gosh, I may not ever walk again” and you think it’s disastrous and then you realise it’s just part and parcel of doing the show.
‘Every day when I get out of bed there’s all sorts of old man groaning going on. I am really enjoying the physical side of it, and I actively look forward to it.’
However, Nigel said he had no intention of continuing dancing once his Strictly experience is over, insisting: ‘I have no plans to carry, but I do really enjoy it!’
Nigel was filmed storming off the dancefloor after receiving a disappointing score for his performance in Blackpool two weeks ago
He and his professional dance partner Katya’s routine to Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing left them second from bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, with a score of 31 points out of 40
Nigel was filmed storming off the dancefloor after receiving a disappointing score for his performance in Blackpool two weeks ago.
He and his professional dance partner Katya’s routine to Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean A Thing left them second from bottom of the judges’ leaderboard, with a score of 31 points out of 40.
In a video shared to social media, Nigel was seen swiftly exiting the dancefloor, just seconds after the BBC cameras stopped shooting.
Katya appeared confused and briefly stood still before following, while other contestants happily danced and hugged.
The audience member who shared the video to Twitter also wrote: ‘Are #Strictly judges proud of themselves? Nigel’s been broken tonight, couldn’t even face the keep dancing once theme & cameras stopped.
‘Taken (sic) away someone’s love of dance & confidence should not be what show is about.’
MailOnline contacted Nigel’s representatives.
Strictly star Nigel gushed over the ‘joyful hours’ he and dance partner Katya Jones spend together ‘laughing a lot’ as they rehearse for the BBC show
It came after Nigel gushed over the ‘joyful hours’ he and dance partner Katya spent together ‘laughing a lot’ as they rehearse for the BBC show.
Speaking about their bond, Nigel said: ‘I love working with Kats, she is so intuitive as a teacher, choreographer and person, we spend hours together and it’s joyful, we laugh a lot, and we get a lot of things done.
‘She’s making me into a better dancer, I don’t know how she’s doing it but she is.
‘Do I find her strict? I don’t think I do, no. Sometimes I need a bit of discipline because if you’re not careful I’ll start rambling about anything just to distract her, so I don’t have to dance.’
He is not the only star who has quit the 2023 Strictly series after Amanda Abbington – who was paired up with Giovanni Pernice – quit in October due to medical reasons.
The news came after the Sherlock star, 49, shared a poignant post about mental health after pulling out and skipped dancing with partner Giovanni Pernice, 33, due to medical reasons.
Amanda Abbington quit Strictly Come Dancing in October after her time on the show was ‘plagued by difficulties’ (Amanda pictured with partner Giovanni Pernice on the show)
The news comes after the Sherlock star, 49, shared a poignant post about mental health after pulling out of Saturday’s show and skipped dancing with partner Giovanni Pernice , 33, due to medical reasons
Giovanni later took to his Instagram to break his silence after the news broke, sharing a backstage photo with Amanda during Movie Week
After reportedly sharing a poignant message about mental health herself, it seems now seems her partner Jonathan Goodwin has hinted at the same thing in his own social media post (pictured)
A statement released at the time read: ‘Amanda Abbington is unable to continue in Strictly Come Dancing and has decided to withdraw from the competition. The show wishes her all the best for the future.’
A Strictly insider told Mail Online: ‘This has been something that Amanda has been unfortunately having to consider making since late last week.
‘It has been a devastating time for Amanda. Her Strictly journey has been plagued by difficulties but she just didn’t think there was any other option.
‘As hard as it has been, there was a chance they could have won.’